String suspension vs. uni pivot or gimball tonearm

I think that string suspension tonearm allows the whole arm to oscillate back and forth to follow the music passage on the record which results the relaxed/natural sound characterisctics. Even the movements only in fractions of a millimeter, it's still back and forth movements. Pivot supported tonearms do not allow the back and forth movements hence more accurate/restricted musical reproduction.
When the string supported tonearm moves forward to comply with the heavy music passage, the stylus remains on that section of the groove a fractional of a second longer than a pivot tonearm would. This time delay creates longer sustainment of the music note. The string supported tonearms also provide more freedom for the arm to track the groove which results more natural music. Some string suspended arm employs damping materials to create more accurate sense musical image.
Are you speaking from experience or just theorizing?

I would think or say you would get more belt splippage or stretching that the actions you are describing.

I think string suspension tonearm is more susceptible to speed fluctuations either from belt slippage or speed control feedback problems. The speed fluctuation causes the arm to resonate and may be even skate due to more degree of freedom from the string suspension. I look at the string suspension tonearm designs such as mass and materials to absorb stylus energy before it get to the string to minimize tonearm oscillation. I visited with tonearm manufacturers at audio shows and got some insights.
Sounds to me like you're parroting something that you were told by competitors of "string suspended" (actually a misnomer since neither use string) tonearms. They're hardly unbiased. Did you raise these questions with Bill Firebaugh of Well Tempered or Frank Schröder? Your last sentence seems to nullify your entire argument since both of the "string suspended" designs on the market incorporate damping. As far as I know there aren't any "string suspended" arms that don't.
Hi Nghiep,

I took a look at one of your earlier Audiogon threads, and it's obvious that you have been doing some "heavy lifting" in your audio hobby.

I congratulate you for your passion, energy, and curiosity. While I have always been fascinated with tonearm design, building turntables has kept me too busy to delve into this area. You can likely teach me a thing or two about arms.

In things audio, I am of the opinion that one can select various different architectures and solve the technical problem quite nicely.

In tonearms for example, I have seen excellent fixed bearings, unipivots, and of course string tension devices like the Schröder and Well Tempered arms. I need to note that it has been quite a few years since I've listened to a WT arm however.

More important than the choice of basic architecture, is the maturity of the design and the precision of its execution.

One of the reasons Frank Schröder was so free in his description of his basic tonearm design architecture (in one of the DIY forums) is that there are still quite a few nasty details to work out. Frank wouldn't want to take away all of your joy of discovery, would he?

Additionally, precision manufacturing is critical to the fabrication of a Schröder tonearm, even if it is not a fixed bearing design. The tonearm's simplicity belies its sophistication.

The issues inherent in designing a tonearm which does not dissipate energy through the bearing (into the turntable base) are substantially different than those where there is a mechanical pathway (fixed bearings and unipivots).

My guess is that part of what you are hearing relates to these concepts (energy reflecting back to the cartridge) as well as to perhaps the choice of string material (damping / stiffness), magnet strength (damping again), and arm wand material (damping, energy dissipation).

Please don't take these comments as a sales pitch for Schröders. My goodness ... it is difficult to keep the waiting list short enough.

My intent is rather to encourage you to go back to your experiments and continue discovering. I admire your curiosity and perseverance.

Thom @ Galibier
The vinyl play back started over a hundred years ago. It was just over 20 years ago, the Well Tempered arm was patented. I only guested that Mr. Bill Firebaugh realized that it didn't require much energy to keep the tonearm stable enough to track the groove, hence string suspension tonearm. The string suspension tonearm even though looks unstable but it is stable enough to track the record. The extra degree of freedoms provide another means of extract music from the groove. I usually listened to National Public Radio on the show " How human inventive minds work ". Even though that Vinyl supposed to be dead in the mid 80's, it 's alive and well today. Many small companies and DIYers took the vinyl playback to new heights. Turntables that virtually eliminate any vibration. Even the minute vibration from the needle is brought under controlled to get the desired musical presentation. Frictionless tonearm that provides purer music without bearing chatters. The vinyl playback is getting more pure from new inventive designs from turntable, tonearm, and cartridge manufacturers. I can't help from wondering about what if the suspension tonearm invented 100 years ago instead 20 years ago. Wooden arm wand came out before metal arm wand. I think we still about the same place in music play back as today due to human bias and laziness. Vinyl enthusiasts are perfectionists. They pursue the purer form of music playback against human nature and commercialization. When one swims against the current, one find out more about oneself. Sorry about the philosophy but I was fascinated with many aspects of vinyl playback. I am very sure that vinyl playback even get better in the future.